Sunday, June 22, 2008

Disturbing

I'm a little perturbed by Fred's behavior.

On Thursday, he called me at home. I didn't answer the phone. He called again. Then he called my cell phone. Twice. The second time he left a message. Then he called my home phone again.

I was in the middle of cooking and when I was finished, I called him back. We arranged the details of our Friday night outing. It was fine to talk to him and he didn't seem nuts, but that much calling is just a little too much.

I should say a word about that--we went to a "liberal" Francophone/Anglophone congregation. It turned out to be perfect for me. If I ever were inclined to go to services, it would be the right place. The prayer book was "homemade" and in English, French and Hebrew. Perfect. Most people were bilingual, though I think the majority were ex-pats. Amusingly, the service was lighting fast, though it lasted an hour and a half. The rabbi basically sped-read the whole thing! Even the songs, which were plentiful, were sung up-tempo. Fine for me, but not quite the learning experience Fred was hoping to have. I'd told him the service would last about an hour, so it did seem a little long to me. He pointed out that protestant services usually last three hours. I said, sure, but what else do you have to do on Sunday morning?

As I expected, and as I'd told Fred, it was a small, friendly group who were all very curious as to who we were. We sort of seemed like a couple, which I'd forgotten to expect, but it wasn't surprising or offensive.

After the service, we went to dinner. Not a plan, but I'd expected we would. He insisted on paying because I'm not working. Now, I think that's a nice gesture, but I was a little annoyed. It wasn't a fancy place and I was planning to pay for myself.

Also, over dinner, Fred observed that I seemed to have male and female friends. True. I'd talked a little about Spesh and C-money. (You know, in these types of situations, I should just make Spesh my long distance boyfriend. Would save a lot of trouble in the long run. I'm sure he wouldn't mind.) He said he never had any female friends until after college. Um, ok.

Now, I don't think I'm unusual in having friends of both sexes and having male friends with whom I've never been romantically involved. In fact, I'm not very likely to stay friends with my ex-boyfriends, for whatever reason. I like to have a diversity of friends, if possible, from all kinds of backgrounds--I learn more that way and it keeps me grounded. Of course, my friends do tend to be like me (more or less), but that's hard to avoid.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that Fred would like to be more than "just friends." I'm not even sure I want to be friends with him! I even got annoyed with his inability to figure out the subway, while ignoring my directions, and his tendency to forget things I'd JUST said. Not a good sign when I'm so intolerant so quickly.

When I got home, he emailed me. I didn't respond, it was only one line, in French saying he'd enjoyed the evening. Then he called. I answered. He said, "Did you just call me?"
No. He apologized and we got off the phone. He emailed an apology. I wrote back and said it was fine--that I have problems understanding my French phone too.

On Saturday morning, he texted me, "what are you doing?" After half an hour, I responded that I was having coffee and reading a book. He answered, "enjoy yourself."

I know he wanted to go out on Saturday night. He'd fished around about it on Friday. I didn't want to go out with him on Saturday and maybe not ever! Saturday was the big "Fete de la Musique" and all over Paris, on every corner practically, bands were performing all different kinds of music. I ended up staying in my neighborhood and wandering from place to place, listening when I liked something and moving on when I didn't.

I even met a guy who, when he found out I was 39 (he asked, scoffed when I told him), offered to marry me so we could have kids right away. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. He high-fived (yes, he is French!) me when I said I didn't want a diamond. (I may be hearing from him, but I don't think I'm interested in him either, though I found the direct approach refreshing. His very limited English combined with my very limited French made annoying conversation impossible. Vive la language barrier!)

On Sunday morning (this morning), I received six (SIX!) emails from Fred, each containing one or two music files. Only one message had text. Good lord. I didn't know what to make of it. Then he called! Yeesh. He wants to go salsa dancing (an interest I mentioned in my posting) but he's never been before, so he needs to take lessons. He watched some videos online and said it seemed hard. I said don't do it unless you want to. You know, I do want to go dancing, but I'm not sure I want to go with Fred. He's coming on too strong…though if I were interested, I might be charmed. Instead, I feel bombarded. Doesn't he have anything better to do than harass me? He has only been here since February, so I guess he doesn't have many friends either…and clearly, he likes me and/or doesn't want to be alone.

How do I manage to keep getting into these situations? Oh, and the old guy? I told him I was busy and he got the message. Still feel bad about that.

Grateful for: male attention (I guess).

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